Written on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2019
Molly and I had "lunch out" today. It wasn't at a familiar haunt in Edina. It was at the Nicollet Island Inn. Dear friends who've moved to a townhome just across the bridge from there came and got us, so we could "come down to the river to pray." And, we did pray, twice.
We had much to pray about. Prayers of gratitude, and for a thousand blessings. In their lives and ours. It was quiet, and beautiful. It is Veterans Day, this cold November Monday. The Mississippi River flowed by, just a few dozen feet from our window table. Across the way, was the historic Lourdes Catholic Church, where our granddaughter Rachel had been married - only a five-minute walk across an equally historic bridge.
We talked of espressos my friend and I had enjoyed together in Mumbai, India and Nairobi, Kenya, and the Minneapolis Club. We talked of the stages of life and the ways we need to change as we age, and how we learn deep things about God and ourselves, about many other people and holding our deep belief in one hand and the "new neighbors" God gives us in the other, without compromise.
It was such a lovely time with people so dear to us since they were children. And now they are new grandparents. They walk, and bike, and ski the high slopes of Colorado - wonderful, energetic ways to move about, despite amazing health issues they've faced and conquered. By faith.
It was exhilarating to be together - as it always is with people of the trail, who've shared the Great Journey with you.
Our host drove us home as the pale sun revealed we were nearing the "mid" of afternoon.
Our senior "village" was celebrating Veterans Day as we arrived home. In the little entry coffee space was a 93-year-old veteran in his World War sailor suit, talking with our war bride from England who makes much of her heritage by hosting an annual tea with a cut-out of Queen Elizabeth II standing by. It was a light moment when I could sing "Anchors Aweigh" to the Navy sailor, and then, on demand, a bar of "God save our gracious queen...long may she reign!" In the meantime, our keeper of the front desk, Marie, came out from the office enclosure, put a hand on the 93-yr-old sailor, and did a very acceptable chorus line step and and sang Anchors Aweigh with us.
A happy moment for us all. Before we walked slowly past 8 or 9 tables bearing uniforms, medals, pictures, and brief accounts of the military service of members of our "Covenant Living" compatriots.
So, we came close in prayer and reunion with dear friends by the banks of the Mississippi at the Nicollet Island Inn, and we remember America's past in the war that changed the world, and we came a little closer to those who live with us in our "covenant" community.
Then dinner with a couple who are heroes we watch in this humbling older life, before Faith Line words to whomever may call this night, and then home to the necessary medical disciplines required each morning and night, toward sustaining life as long as the dear Lord gives it. With love to all, on this good day.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
|Arthur Rouner Ministries||
ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES